How would you improve the Royal Navy

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
Bgile
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by Bgile » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:13 pm

How do you accomplish 3 & 4 under the Washington Treaty?

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by als_pug » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:16 pm

their was an escallation clause in the treaty . it is what allowed the design of the lion 1 . i am trying to find a text for the treaty or even a decent summary . can anyone send a link plse.

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by tommy303 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:51 pm

The escalation clause only comes into effect if one or more of the original signatories of the Washington and the 1930 London treaty opt to exercise their right not to renew the treaty in 1936. In this case, the Japanese and Italians dropped out of the 1936 renewal and this triggered the escalator clause.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... l-1935.htm

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by RF » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:08 am

Bgile wrote:How do you accomplish 3 & 4 under the Washington Treaty?
Not only the escalator clause, but also the scrapping of some of the older battlewagons in order that they can be replaced by more modern ships.
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by Kitsetone » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:35 am

Most British ships in WW2 were sunk by aircraftattack or by or submarine torpedo. By comparison relatively few ships were actually lost in surface-surface combat with enemy heavy units. With hindsight then, I would have a). concentrated on developing a good naval fighter together with a more modern torpedo plane, dive bomber and an aircraft capable of hunting submarines; b). drastically increased production of heavier-calibre anti-aircraft weapons together with proper fire control; c). designed more seaworthy and capable escorts capable of mass-production such as the Loch class frigatesmuch earlier. However, this is to use probably unjustified historical hindsight. The Royal Navy post-war did exactly these things.

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by IronDuke » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:11 am

Firstly I would not deliberately make an enemy of Italy over Abyssinia or Spain.
Secondly I would see both the Leauge of Nations and the Naval Treaties as the dead letters they were by the mid 1930's. You reinforce Malta with heavy and light AA guns and modern Fighter aircraft to protect it as a Naval base.

Given the state of knowledge about Naval warfare in 1936 you have to build Battleships and they would certainly be the Lion Class with 9 x 16inch guns, six of those and you have nothing much to fear from the German or Italian Battlefleet.

You give major modenisations to Hood, all of the Queen Elizabeths and Repulse, then Glorious, Courageous and Furious and the Revenge class, in that order. If need be you scrap the oldest Revenge class ships.

You build Six new Ark Royals, as your main Fleet Carrier, scrapping Argus and, perhaps Eagle. At the same time you work damn hard on your naval aviation, at the expense of RAF Bomber Command desire for very heavy bombers if need be.

You try to get France to join you in jumping on Hitler as soon as he tries to re occupy the Rhineland. In the Far East you reinforce Malaya with more modern aircraft, Light and heavy AA guns and a tank brigade and make sure that both Johor in Malaya and Singapore Island have proper defences (all round on Singapore Island).

You urge Australia and New Zealand to at least double their spending on Naval defence (Canada, at that stage, probably will not as it is so close to the USA) which should give the Commonwealth an extra 3-4 Light Cruisers and say 6-8 Destroyers, plus smaller craft.

You do not antagonise Japan over China, despite what the USA may wish, at least not in return for anything less than a formal alliance.

If you can build extra Cruisers you build something like extra Edinburgh Class ships 12 x 6 inch, but large enough to carrry 4 X 4 inch extra AA. as these come online you scrap your oldest 6 inch Cruisers or convert them to AA ships (although did anyone really know the WWII air threat in 1936)?
For Destroyers you build ships with 6 x DP 4.5 inch guns, with the aim of at least three or four flottilas by 1940.

You start building escort ships, if possible closer to 1942 Frigates than 1940 Flower Class Corvettes, perhaps four small merchant standard Escort Carriers, that can carry half a dozen Swordfish type aircraft and four fighters, although bare in mind if you can get France to join you in squashing Hitler early enough you don't end up with a major U-Boat war in the Atlantic.

That programme, if it were possible, would give you the strongest reasonably possible RN and indeed British Empire and Commonwealth.

But to do all this you have to have a Government able and willing to see that on the one hand you have to modernise and expand your armed forces and on the other try very hard to only make one enemy at a time. They also have to convince the British and Commonwealth publics that this is the way to go, which is almost as unlikely as getting a US alliance pre 1940/41
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by alecsandros » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:14 am

A very thoughtfull reply, Ted :D

Just one idea: given the rising power of aircraft, shouldn't the battleships be equipped with much more AA guns? Especialy the Bofors 40mm. After all, they couldn't always hope of a carrier behind them to launch fighters if needed....

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by Bgile » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:52 pm

Geeze Ted, why don't you install phasor banks while you are at it?

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by IronDuke » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:32 am

Never said it was likely to have been done, but all the ships I mention, apart from the early Frigates and escort carriers were at least designs in 1936, a slightly larger 'Edinburgh' with two extra twin 4 inch AA is not all that radical.

The political stuff -not making more enemies than one had to, seems obvious enough to me...
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by IronDuke » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:38 am

alecsandros wrote:A very thoughtfull reply, Ted :D

Just one idea: given the rising power of aircraft, shouldn't the battleships be equipped with much more AA guns? Especialy the Bofors 40mm. After all, they couldn't always hope of a carrier behind them to launch fighters if needed....

Well I was trying to stay in mid 1930's mindset, did people then really know what the air threat would be in WWII?

When looking at this it is as well to remember that Air Forces then (the RAF as bad as any of them) were making vast claims about the bombers ability to destroy cities -highly exaggerated claims as it turned out- but not so much about hitting ships at sea.
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by neil hilton » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:27 pm

This would be my design for a battleship (heavy KGV type).
45000 tons.
armour scheme as original.
4 quad 14" main armament (16 total).
improved machinery to increase speed to 30/31 kts and increase range (in order to keep up with carriers).
minimze secondary armament to 2 twin 5.25" per side.
increase AAA mounts, concentrating on twin 40mm bofors and 20mm oerlikens (20 mounts of each type). With the option of further increase as an upgrade.
keep the scout planes for scout purposes.

The quad 14" have a bad reputation for reliability which is unjustified and the 14" was not appreciably inferior to the 16" in the real world.

I would also build 6 BBs and 6CVs because that combination has the most versatility.
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by Legend » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:30 pm

A ship that large would have extreme balance problems. The reason the KGV class did not have the center gun a quad instead of a double, is that during testing and calculations they found that the large center quad would cause stability problems. You would have to increase the hull size to atleast 60,000 tons, around the same size of the Montana!

A better solution, if Britain had the shipbuilding capability for that venture, would be to make many small KGV's... perhaps missing the center turret and adding in more powerful machinery and more effective dual purpose guns. This would allow for somewhere around six to eight new ships, verses the two monsters you propose, or the five that were actually built.
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by Bgile » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:04 pm

neil hilton wrote:This would be my design for a battleship (heavy KGV type).
I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to begin a critique of this ... so I won't.

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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by RF » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:44 am

neil hilton wrote:This would be my design for a battleship (heavy KGV type).
Why a battleship and not a carrier?

Apart from the criticisms made by Legend, which I agree with, how do you deal with vulnerablity to air attack and cater for the longer reach of a carrier?
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Re: How would you improve the royal navy

Post by neil hilton » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:08 am

Legend wrote:A ship that large would have extreme balance problems. The reason the KGV class did not have the center gun a quad instead of a double, is that during testing and calculations they found that the large center quad would cause stability problems. You would have to increase the hull size to atleast 60,000 tons, around the same size of the Montana!

A better solution, if Britain had the shipbuilding capability for that venture, would be to make many small KGV's... perhaps missing the center turret and adding in more powerful machinery and more effective dual purpose guns. This would allow for somewhere around six to eight new ships, verses the two monsters you propose, or the five that were actually built.
This stability indeed could be a problem, although not one that couldn't be solved with some clever design.
Bigger machinery below the waterline would lower the centre of gravity. The bilge keels could be deepened. Top weight could be reduced by decreasing the superstructure and reducing the secondary armament in favour of AAA. The turrets themselves could be redsigned so that more of the workings are placed in the barbette rather than the turret (a bit like a modern naval turret).
Also the weight of the quad 14" I believe is lighter than the US triple 16" turrets installed in the Iowa class (1500 vs 1600 tons approx.) and the Iowa were a 45000 ton ship with 3 main turrets. The North Carolinas fitted 3 triple 16" turrets in a 35000 ton hull, as did the Nelsons.
If necessary 3 or all 4 of the quad turrets could be mounted at deck level.
Also, the ships draught could be incresed a bit bringing more tonnage below the waterline.
With all these design tweaks I believe the 4 quad turrets arrangement could work in a 45000 ton vessel.

As stated in my original post I would build 6 BBs and 6CVs because pairing a CV with a fast BB result in a symbiotic relationship. Each covers the others weakness. The BB provides large scale AAA, shore bombardment capability and protection against surface threats during bad weather and at night. The CV provides long reach and heavy over the horizon power and visibility.

Speaking of the CV this is my design. An enlarged Implacable class 35000 tons.
Most of this extra volume I would put in hanger capacity, raising the aircraft capacity form 60 to 80 or maybe 90.
Alter the AAA loadout to a half and half mix of twin 40mm bofor and twin 20mm oerlikens. This could result in around 40 pieces of each type (20 of each per side).
Only having 2 twin 5.25" per side for DP.

As for the small KGV design type with only 2 quad 14" turrets these would make good carrier escorts, if some of the saved tonnage was allocated to better machinery and AAA as you suggest.
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